Gun bill would connect fate of juvenile with adult - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Gun bill would connect fate of juvenile with adult

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A tie that binds may soon be a noose for a gun supplier.

Tennessee state lawmakers are looking at a bill which connects the fate of a juvenile who commits a gun crime to the person who gave the child the gun.

"In the last 10 years I've been to over 100 funerals from a 2-year-old in Clayborn Homes all the way to 18," said Stevie Moore. "We're losing two lives, the life that got taken and we lose the one who took the life."

Moore has spent years fighting for young people in Memphis. He lost his own son 10 years ago to gun violence. Even though the suspect was arrested and charged, there is still a question that haunts him.

"Where did the guy get the gun from?," Moore asked.

Tennessee Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) said, if passed, House Bill 36 is like an arranged marriage where neither side wants to be connected to the other.
"The person that supplies the gun now becomes an accomplice to the crime that was committed by that minor," Rep. Parkinson said.

As it stands now anyone who gives a gun to a javelin who then uses the weapon to commit a crime faces a misdemeanor at best. If the bill passes and a juvenile is busted, whoever gave the teen the gun will not only go to jail, they'll serve 100 percent of the time and not qualify for early release.

"The beauty of this legislation, it literally creates the tie that binds the person that supplies the weapon of destruction to the individual that uses that weapon for destruction," Rep. Parkinson said.

It's already a misdemeanor to sell, loan or gift a gun to a minor, the state representative said. The bill is not about gun control, but crime control.

"Your grandfather who wants to give a gun to a grandson for use in hunting or for use in gun safety classes already in the code right now as we speak even before this legislation is approved - it allows for items like that to be gifted to minors," Rep. Parkinson said.

"These guns are not just dropping out the air," Moore said. "Somebody is supplying these guns and we need to go after the supplier."

Rep. Parkinson says the next time someone says "I do" while handing a gun to a teen, the consequences will hopefully force them to say "I don't."

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